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New York New YorkThe Basics

Founded in 1989 by clinicians Vincent Casolaro and Robert Smith, Inter-Care is a comprehensive outpatient program with two locations—one in midtown Manhattan and the other in Westchester County, just north of New York City. The program aims to not only help alcoholics and addicts get sober, but also to empower them with the motivation, support and skills necessary to deal with the challenges of day-to-day living. With more than twenty years of community support, clients have access to evidence-based treatment using traditional therapeutic methods.

Inter-Care’s Executive and Clinical Director is Nicholas Lessa (MA, LMSW and CASAC), a professor in the social work programs of both New York University and Adelphi University. Lessa’s credentials also include two books on substance use disorders: Concise Guide to Mental Health: Substance Use Disorders and Living with Alcoholism and Drug Addiction: The Teen Edition.

Treatment and Staff

Treatment plans at Inter-Care are customized for each individual according to their needs. An extensive assessment interview is completed before clients start treatment, and from this interview a specific treatment plan is crafted.

There are four tracks of treatment at Inter-Care:

An eight-week Motivational and Early Intervention Service is designed for those who don’t meet the criteria for a full-fledged substance abuse disorder but have engaged in risky behaviors and suffered consequences from their drinking and using. The main strategies used in this program are Motivational Interviewing (MI) and classes that boost awareness about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a two-phase program that includes individual and group therapy, psycho-education, Motivational Interviewing (MI), CBT, DBT, EMDR, 12-step principles and SMART Recovery and treatment with a physician who specializes in addiction medicine. Phase one requires three to six visits a week for four to six weeks. Clients who move on to phase two attend sessions two times a week for 12 weeks. After clients complete the program they continue getting treatment in an advanced program and typically join the facility’s alumni center. Sessions are available in both daytime and evening.

The Early Through Advanced track is designed for clients who don’t need an intensive program, but still require treatment. Using the same therapeutic strategies that the facility practices in the IOP program, Inter-Care has those in this track meet one to three times a week to participate in individual, couples or family counseling and group therapy.
Those with dual diagnosis are put on a specific track that integrates medication management and individual and group counseling. Clients attend sessions for a maximum of four times a week, depending on the severity of their addiction and psychiatric diagnosis.
Staff consists of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, credentialed addiction specialists and physician assistants. Group size is no more than 15 clients per session, and clients receive their own counselor for one-on-one therapy.


Inter-Care offers online treatment on its own or in conjunction with in-person sessions. For those who cannot attend groups in person, clients can participate in individual and group counseling with live—and encrypted—video conferences. Through a partnership with, professional cyber-facilitators with training in online therapy conduct these sessions as well as therapeutic online chats and emails.

Family programming is a big part of treatment here. The facility offers family education, support groups and individual counseling for family members and significant others in order to encourage the family’s participation in the recovery process. Groups are geared toward helping family members and significant others understand and accept addiction and work on communication skills with addicts and alcoholics.

Additionally, Inter-Care has an on-going aftercare meeting each week which clients can attend indefinitely. It also has an Alumni Outreach Committee that plans parties and special events for alumni. The Inter-Care Foundation is an affiliated non-profit that provides treatment scholarships for those who are unable to pay treatment fees.

In Summary

Inter-Care is a solid choice for addicts and alcoholics who require only outpatient therapy and want to explore different treatment therapies. The basic outpatient and IOP services use many well-tested evidence-based modalities to create a solid recovery foundation. Its peer support group requirements and commitment to fostering a vital alumni network ensure that clients will have significant sober support upon completing their program. With two branches and a well-credentialed and experienced staff, clients are set up with a promising start to long-term recovery.

Though the efficacy of online addiction treatment is yet to be seen, the combination of in-person and web treatment could certainly give those who need it an extra boost.

51 East 25th St, Lower Level
New York, NY 10010

Inter-Care Outpatient Cost: Call for cost. Reach Inter-Care by phone at (212) 532-0303 or by email at Find Inter-Care on Facebook and Google+ 
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Photo courtesy of By Dschwen (English Wikipedia) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)
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